One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs is “Sleigh Ride.” Did you know that, like “Jingle Bells,” it doesn’t mention anything about Christmas? It’s actually more of a snow or winter song. 🙂 Let’s learn a little about it today in this 15-Minute Music Lesson for “Sleigh Ride.”
Who Wrote “Sleigh Ride” and When?
“Sleigh Ride” was originally just an instrumental piece (no words) written in 1948 by Leroy Anderson, a composer who wrote for the Boston Pops Orchestra. See the Boston Pops perform it here:
The Lyrics of “Sleigh Ride”
Words were written to the “Sleigh Ride” tune in 1950 by Mitchell Parish. The Andrews Sisters recorded the first vocal version of “Sleigh Ride” that same year. You’ll hear them sing it in this next video. Along with the lyrics, notice the paintings throughout the video which are from Currier and Ives–a printmaking company mentioned in the song!
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Fun Percussion Instruments in “Sleigh Ride”
A fun feature in a performance of “Sleigh Ride” is using various instruments to give the illusion of the sleigh ride and horses. A percussion instrument called a slapstick sounds like a whip, sleigh bells are shaken to sound like the bells that would be around a horse’s neck, and temple blocks sound like the horse “clip-clopping” on the road. In addition, a trumpet at the end sounds like a horse whinnying. If you missed these in the first video, listen again!
Can you find some items around your house to use as percussion instruments? Maybe a pan from your kitchen and a wooden spoon? Be creative with your own percussion instruments and play them as you listen to “Sleigh Ride” again.
Using the Voice as a “Percussion” Instrument
For many years, people have developed their voices to sound like instruments. You’ll hear that in this next video of the group Pentatonix singing “Sleigh Ride:”
Download the 15-Minute Music Lesson for “Sleigh Ride” Printable Pack:
Find these pages in it:
- Matching Percussion Instruments
- Fill-in-the-blank about the song
- Listen and Draw
Combine this fun winter lesson with some great winter books! See the list here.
More Christmas in Your Homeschool Ideas:
- ‘Carolling Around the World’, a Fun Course to Learn About Christmas Carols
- How to Experience the Music of Christmas in Your Homeschool, Even if You Have No Time
- A Round-up of the Top Nutcracker Resources for Your Homeschool
- 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie for “Carol of the Bells”
- Free Printable Pack for the Christmas Song “In the Bleak Midwinter”
- Handel’s Messiah Free 10-page Printable Pack
This is a bit of a tight year for us. $500 would bless us by allowing us to more freely do Christmas.
$500 would help with gifts and some saving.
My spouse is now retired from his full-time job and working on his own writing. If we won, we could use the $500 to do some fun activities / travel as a family. We would also donate some if it to charity, after discussing as a family which organization (s) to support.
I would use it to send my dad on a vacation- he spent the last 2 years looking after my bedridden mom, and could really use time with family !
We’re in a financial slump right now. We spent our Christmas savings and to make things worse we had a tree fall on our neighbor’s gate that we are now responsible for. We’re being quoted at $500 for the repair. Our van needs major work on the front end aside from new tires and an alignment. This would definitely help us one way or another.
Stephanie Murray says
I would use it to pay for some much needed home repairs! And help with a bit of gifts
My husband is in a job transition, so $500 would help our family finances tremendously.
Thank you, as always, for some great music ideas for our homeschool day. Love Pentatonix. What an awesome giveaway, too! That would be a great help to buy some gifts, now that we’re all feeling Christmas-y 🙂
Fair One says
The giveaway would help pay down debt.
Sara P says
I love that you’re doing this giveaway! It’s so generous of you. We could use the money for bills and presents for our family and friends.
Betsy Barnes says
My hubby transitioned into a new job, which limited his hours. The $500 would be a true blessing this Christmas for gifts.
I believe that I would buy gift cards with the money and then randomly hand them out to various people like Walmart employees or fast food restaurant workers or a homeless person on the side of the road to wish them all a merry Christmas!